Foul Mudammas (Egyptian Fava Beans)
Foul Mudammas is said to be one of the healthiest foods you could ever eat.
Also known as Ful mudammas or ful medames, this dish is a staple in its country of origin – Egypt.
Made from dried fava beans, also known as broad beans, foul is normally eaten for breakfast.
This popular bean dish is actually enjoyed throughout the Middle East at breakfast time.
Ful is also the Arabic name for fava, and broad beans, and just in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced fool.
What is Foul Mudammas?
Foul Mudammas is a stew of cooked fava beans, and served with olive oil and sometimes boiled eggs..
Often topped with a variation of tomato, onion, chopped parsley, garlic or lemon.
It consists of reconstituted dried fava beans, which are cooked down over medium heat until they are soft.
It’s a classic breakfast in the countries of the Levant.
I alway prefer to make this dish with canned or packaged fava beans because it saves time.
But you can also use dried beans that you rehydrate and cook until soft.
This is an amazingly easy dish to make once you have the cooked beans.
I use a potato masher to mash the beans until they have the consistency of refried beans.
This is one of the healthiest, most nutritious breakfasts you will find during your world travels.
My traditional toppings to this Middle Eastern breakfast are garlic, hot chili, and cumin.
Some people like to even add chopped boiled egg as an addition.
Others prefer chopped tomatoes, green onions, and sometimes chili peppers with a bit of lemon juice.
It really is one of my favorite breakfast dishes due to its simplicity, and lovely flavor profile.
One cup of these beans has 13 grams of protein and only 200 calories, so it really packs a punch and will keep you full longer.
You always feel like you’ve had a hearty meal afterwards. and definitely feel full until lunchtime.
How to Make Foul Mudammas
Foul mudammas is an incredibly simple dish to make.
First, soak the dry fava beans in a bowl of water overnight if you are using dried beans.
The following day you will notice that beans have plumped up.
Now they are ready to be drained in a colander, and rinsed off.
Put drained beans into a pot and fill the pot with fresh water to cover beans, plus a little extra.
Bring the beans to a boil and turn down to a simmer.
Simmer them for several hours, or use a pressure cooker, until the beans become soft.
You can just leave them on a low heat whilst you go about your day.
You may need to add more water as it evaporates off.
Or you can avoid all of the above, and use canned or packaged fava beans.
Once the beans have softened, use a potato masher to crush the beans which will help thicken the mixture.
You will have a combination of mashed, semi mashed, and unmashed beans.
This is the best way to serve the dish.
It is also best served warm with some extra toppings for a fuller flavor.
Start by sprinkling some extra cumin, then drizzle some olive oil all over the foul mudammas.
Finally, add some chopped tomatoes and green onions for a little crunch.
Always best with warm pita bread to scoop out with, and eat with your hands!
Where to Find Fava Beans
Dried fava beans, also referred to as broad beans, when of the larger variety, are common beans in most places.
However, the smaller kind is not as commonly found in the States.
These beans are more likely a staple to be found in Arab American households.
If you struggle to find them at your local grocery store, your best bet is to try a farmers market.
Fava bean’s growing season runs from mid-Spring through to late Summer.
So plenty of time to enjoy the fresh fava bean!
For foul you will need to dry the beans before you rehydrate them to make this recipe.
Canned foodstuff has never been my go to food, but when it comes to beans, I find it a good time-saving alternative.
How to Serve
The best way is to serve in a bowl that everyone can share from.
Place the beans in a bowl and then add your fresh ingredients on top.
My go-to fresh ingredients to add are chopped onion and tomato, with a little parsley.
If you like spice, you can chop up some hot green pepper and throw some of that on there as well.
The best way to eat foul is with warm, toasted pita bread.
Break a piece off and scoop up some goodness, making sure to get some of those delicious toppings on.
Things you can serve along with foul for breakfast are hummus, falafel and frittata.
Ful is also a great addition to a mezze, adding a lovely addition to the table.
How Long Will It Last?
Foul will keep in the fridge comfortably for up to a week.
Just store it in an airtight container.
To reheat, place it in a pan with a little hot water, heat slowly and stir.
You can add more or less water, depending on the texture.
Ful can also be frozen if you want to keep it even longer, and should keep for at least 3 months in the freezer.
To defrost the ful, simply put in the fridge overnight, then warm using the instructions above.
Is it Sacrilegious to Add Other Ingredients?
Usually a purist, I prefer a traditional dish the way it was meant to be eaten.
But I also have a streak in me that wants to try new things, and experiment with the traditional.
It is always good to challenge traditions, in a constructive way of course, as this is how innovation happens.
I sometimes like eating my ful with a topping of avocado and some crumbled feta cheese!
I recommend you try different things, and find what you like.
Tips for Making
- Make sure that the beans are cooked well, otherwise they’ll be tough and not very good to eat.
- Another good reason to use packaged beans for this recipe
- If you want a more spicy garlic flavor, put it in at the end. If you like a more mellow garlic flavor, put it in at the beginning.
- For a creamier foul, add a little extra olive oil when cooking.
Foul Mudammas Recipe
- 2 cups Dried Fava Beans soaked overnight
- 4 Garlic Cloves chopped
- 1 Onion chopped
- 1 Tomato chopped
- Cumin pinch
- Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon juiced
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Cover beans with fresh water in a heavy bottomed pot.
- Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer.
- Cook until beans have softened, add more water as needed.
- Add garlic, and cook until soft.
- Mash with a potato masher and stir until thick.
- Serve warm with a sprinkle of cumin, olive oil, and lemon juice.
Hi Chef Tariq!
My family loves your recipes especially this one. I have a question I’m looking for a set of bowls like the one featured in the photo and I can’t find them. Is there anywhere you can recommend I look for them?
Thank you for your kind words! Unfortunately, these bowls are incredibly popular in the Middle East but I have yet to find them anywhere in the US. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.
Maybe one day I’ll make my own and sell them for my American friends!